Art of coping with emotions | Sunday Observer

Art of coping with emotions

13 November, 2022

“There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.” — Eric Jensen

Controlling emotions is a difficult art to master. The ability to manage emotions helps maintain mental health. We often feel the emotions we experience because of changing circumstances. If these emotions are not managed in time, they can disturb our mental well-being as well as physical well-being. Emotions can have a huge impact on our lives. Our emotional state affects how we feel, act, and the quality of life we ​​experience.

For example, happy people have better physical health than those who are depressed or anxious. If you are not in a good mood, you often feel pessimistic and careless, which affects not only your mood but also your quality of life. That is why it is important to try to maintain emotional control to achieve life’s goals.

The writer met Mental Health and Addiction Counsellor and Career Counsellor at the University of Peradeniya Suchinthana Dasun to discuss controlling emotions.


Q: What is emotional intelligence?

A: Emotions are mental conditions that everyone feels, such as sadness, fear, happiness, anger, surprise, and disgust. Apart from these primary emotions, people have many other emotions. All those emotions are based on primary emotions. In jealousy, there is sadness for someone. Jealousy is usually when something we have is jealous of someone else, or when something close to us gets close to someone else. We have sadness, fear, and anger in that feeling. And basically, these primary emotions are formed and the other emotions are formed in connection with them.

When we talk about intelligence, we have heard words like IQ. Most of the time what is considered as intelligence is usually mathematical ability and language ability. Most of the time, there are exams called IQ tests, and there are exams for graduates to sit such as administrative exams, like SLAS, SLEAS, and Foreign Services. In the IQ paper, language ability and logical ability are tested. This is what the conventional view of intelligence is. Howard Gardner, a psychologist, was the first to say this. Mathematics and language abilities of people are also intelligent. But apart from that, there are other domains that people can call intelligence.

He stressed on interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. And this is where the story of Emotional Intelligence comes in. If a person has both mathematical skills and language skills, we can say that he is an academically successful person. But we can never guarantee that his life will be successful if he moves forward with those two. If life is to be successful, a person must have those pieces of multiple intelligence. When we talk about the two aspects of interpersonal and intrapersonal, we are connected to the topic of emotional intelligence or emotion management. Interpersonal means that we know how intelligent and smart we are when dealing with ourselves and others around us, while intrapersonal means how much we know about ourselves.

That is the crucial point in the matter of emotion management. That means our understanding of ourselves and our understanding of others from the emotional side. When talking about emotional management, we can talk about emotional intelligence under four more domains. It has self-awareness. That means understanding one’s own feelings. Next is self-management to manage your emotions. The other domain is understanding and managing the emotions of others. Those are the four domains of emotional intelligence.

The term ‘emotions management’ comes from how much emotional intelligence we have. How well do we manage emotions? It has both own and other people›s sorrows and emotions. When we say emotion management, many people think that this is only about managing their emotions.

But it doesn’t stop there. Managing the emotions of others is also important. But before we manage, the first thing we need to know is what kind of feelings we have to manage. We need to understand that first. We call that self-awareness, which is how we understand ourselves. One of the problems that people often have is that they feel too many emotions, such as sadness, fear, happiness, separation, and jealousy.

But if they try to understand in some way or if they were to explain to someone else, such as that he or she has this kind of feeling, maybe it can be to the life partner, sometimes it can be to the mother and father of the family, it is very difficult to explain and understand our emotions. The reason is that we don’t give time for it. people give less time to think about their emotions or to think about what they feel, what kind of person they are, what kind of emotions they feel, and how they react to them. That’s why when they feel emotions, they don’t know how to express them to the other person. It is difficult for them to understand themselves.

Q: Why do we need to manage emotions and what can we achieve through that?

A: If we have emotional intelligence, we can reduce many problems in our life, be it in family life, be it on the job, or anywhere else. Now think if you understand your feelings well if you have the understanding of what your needs are, what kind of person you are, what kind of feelings you feel, and how you react when you face such an incident if you have the understanding in such things, if you know places where you can react wrongly, you can avoid those places, control yourselves and manage yourselves if you have emotional intelligence.

If you have a partner, or maybe a mother or father, if we can know what›s on their mind, what their feelings are, if we know what their feelings at this time, we can react accordingly. This emotional intelligence makes our lives much easier.

In an office, we have to work with many people who have different feelings, different ideologies, and different thoughts. If we can understand them and their feelings, it will be very easy for us to work anywhere with anyone. There are two things as sympathy and empathy. Sympathy means more of a feeling of pity for another. Empathy means our ability to understand how someone feels. The extent to which you feel an event and the extent to which someone else feels it is different for each person. It means that one person can be extremely sad because of one incident, while another person can manage it without any sadness. That person›s experiences in life and his/her personality are the reasons for this.

Q: How do we manage emotions?

A: We can develop our emotional intelligence by doing general writing, and by maintaining a diary. That means this is not a diary to plan our work. Sometimes this means the diary that we write about the things that happened in our day. If you maintain such a diary, it will increase your self-awareness.

Imagine having a conflict with someone, it could be with a boyfriend or anyone else. Just looking at the feelings won’t fix it. Now, we have to look at the other person.

We have to think about how the person who had the conflict must have felt and we need to think about how you reacted to those feelings when the incident happened, how your other person reacted to it, and how we managed it and when something like that happens again, how can you manage your emotions and respond to them in a better way.

If we can analyse and write in this way in general writing, it will be very helpful for our self-awareness as well as social awareness. If we have a genuine friend, we can develop emotional intelligence by talking about things in our life with that person. Because the feeling we have about ourselves or self-awareness is caused not only by what we think about ourselves but also by what others tell us. If someone appreciates you, from that appreciation, you build a self-concept of who you are. You imagine you are someone who has this kind of ability.

Q: How important is emotional intelligence to us?

A: Emotions are the key to our attention, memory, and learning. For example, imagine being a university student. He has to pay attention in lectures. He needs to remember things for the examination. The other is that he is in that learning process, learning things. Many times a person is emotionally not fit or emotionally down at that time, or if there is a problem in some other way, he can’t even keep his attention. He can’t even remember what he learns. The other thing is that it is very difficult for him to learn things. The other is that Decision Making and Judgment are very crucial in Emotional Intelligence.

The emotional state a person is in at that time is affected. It means that we often make wrong decisions when we are in extreme sadness or when there is a problem. If we don’t understand what situation we are in and if we don’t know to control our emotions, people often make wrong decisions in their lives. Many times, some suicides happen because people were unable to control their anger at that time. But it is not a huge percentage. But there are such cases.

Q: In terms of emotions, how can we develop or what should we do if we have any problems?

A: If there are any problems in our life, they may occur in education, in personal life, or in the job, we see it as a problem. Because of our inability to manage our emotions, if it keeps happening, the best thing is to meet a counsellor. Then we can learn how to manage things by talking about those things. You can talk about those issues. Next, if someone wants to develop emotional intelligence, it means that he does not have such a problem, but he wants to develop that part called emotional intelligence because it makes our life easier because we can understand others and we can understand ourselves, then what we have to do is we can try various things even online, there are such resources that we can use to check our emotional intelligence.

A person with good and strong emotional intelligence is a physically strong person. The area called emotional intelligence is something that a child should be taught from an early age.